Stress and thyroid problems

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Hi all I recently had a massive stress episode (4 months worth) and lost 16kg

from my 68kg weight. I was in tears all the time and really thought I was

going mad or having a midlife crisis. I eventually went to my GP (2weeks ago)

and had blood tests done.... hyperthyroid (though to me it was only slightly

raised at 19.1 [reference range upper limit was 19] and a TSH of 1.33 which

was in normal limits), my usual pulse and bp prior to this had been pulse in

the 60's and bp always low aroud 90/50, my pulse in doctors office was 125

and I fealt like my whole body was rocking with a bp of 138/100! Panic on

top of panic. I really fealt terrible totally not like my usual self my mind was

on overdrive and was torturing me (I also had a raised tumour marker which

was my minds instrument of torture). I was put on carbimazole initially 5mg

three times a day but increased to 10mg morning 5mg midday and 10mg at

night. I am a senior registered nurse in a nurse led clinic and I am trained in

first line emergency care so my job can be quite stressful. My two week blood

tests yesterday showed a free T4 of 17.1 pmol/L, free T3 of 5 pmol/L and a

TSH of 0.06 (Reference range 0.35 - 4 point something). I haven't had anti-

bodies done yet and my GP is managing me at the moment but I was

wondering if there is a chance that the stress caused my thyroid problem or if

my thyroid caused the stress response (classic chicken and egg problem lol).

On days of little to no stress I feel okay not perfect but better but even things

like taking a shower leave me needing to rest and emotional stress gives me

nausea so I can't eat and get dreadful hunger pains. Just interested if others

had a major stress episode (physical or emotional) prior to diagnosis and if

stress came months before diagnosis.

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  • Posted

    Hello Jenifer, welcome to the forum. I sympathise as I know those horrible feelings from being hyeprthyroid myself.

    In my case I am pretty sure emotional stress onset Graves: I have lost my father due to a horrible brain tumor 18 months ago and subsequently my mother in law a few months later. This brought in the picture marriage issues. And then it became a chicken/egg situationas you say: the more hyperthiroid I became, the more mood issues I had, which made relationship issues worse.

    The cycle for me was broken with diagnoses: my husband read a ton of stuff about Graves and understood the situation. I have since then been on Carbimazole which improved immensily my mood as well as the other symptoms.

    I hope Carbimazole will help you too. Good luck!

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    • Posted

      Hi Rita nice to meet you and thank you for the well wishes.

      The meds have helped I think but the diagnosis was the biggest

      help, well that and a supportive GP. My pulse still races and a

      shower knocks me around but I am slowly getting there lol feel like

      I have been to pergatory and am now on my way back so there is

      Iight ahead 😆

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  • Posted

    Stress definitely triggered my disease.  I had an abusive co-worker and it went on for 6 months before it was addressed.  I had similar results to yours with a normal TSH when I first had symptoms and then within a month, my TSH was less than 0.001.  While Methimazole blocked the excessive thyroid hormone, for the first two years, my TSH remained at less than 0.001 until I added supplements to my treatment like Regular L-Carnitine, Vitamin D and Magnesium.  I got tested for all these values before adding the supplements and was deficient in all of them.  Vitamin D is especially important to thyroid patients.  When I added these, my TSH began to rise and my Endo was slowly able to lower my dose of Methimazole.  
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    • Posted

      Hi Linda, I have had my vitamin D and magnesium levels tested and they were good but I will ask my GP if I can take a suppliment to prevent them from dropping. I am beginning to think stress is a trigger for an underlying subclinical (no symptoms) thyroid problem as my TSH 5yrs ago was just above the low limit while my freT4 was normal at 14.
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    • Posted

      I was hypothyroid for 8 years and have now been treated for 2.5 years for hyperthyroidism with Carbimazole at varying dosages due to the see-sawing of my levels. I'm very interested in the supplements discussed here and am wondering how easy it's been to get tested for Vit D and other possible deficiencies.

      This latest episode of mine has left me anxious and with various skin soreness.The anxiety is very hard to live with as it is completely against my natural disposition. Does anyone else suffer in this way?

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    • Posted

      Yes most patients when hyperthyroid have anxiety and also palpitations before diagnosis and treatment.  For the testing, in Canada the medical insurance plan only covers vitamin D testing for certain diseases and thyroid disease is not one of them.  I do have extended health benefits through my job and this reimbursed me for the costs for testing vitamin D and Free and Total Carnitine levels.  Actually I think I found out I was vitamin D deficient when I volunteered for a research study on something else and they tested for that.   Magnesium is usually covered under the government plan here.  I think it is unusual that you were hypo for 8 years and now are hyper.  If that happened to me, I would want to be tested for all antibodies, i.e. anti-TPO and TGAb which is usually elevated especially in Hashimoto's disease as well as TRAb or TBII for Graves disease.  It is possible to have both Graves and Hashimoto's together or Hashimoto's alone will cause patients to bounce from one extreme to the other.  If you have Hashimoto's at all, you will be too sensitive to both thyroid blocking drugs like Carbimazole or Methimazole and thyroid replacement hormone drugs.  Most people with Hashi's from what I have seen on postings to this and other Boards, do far better on natural protocols.  One lady on this Board got control of her disease with Regular L-Carnitine along with other supplements like vitamin D.

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  • Posted

    Oh yes! I was diagnosed with hyperthyroid Graves disease with eye involvement after taking care of my mom who died from Scleroderma. Right after my brother divorced and moved into my one bedroom apartment with his three children. At work, I got a new boss who's a horror and was trying to get rid of the older employees who earned higher salaries. My moods changed completely. I was in fight and flight mode all the time and hardly slept. I lost a lot of weight but my eyes were affected the most. When I finally saw an endo, the first thing she asked if I had experienced any excessively stressful period prior to diagnosis. So I definitely feel stress is a big factor, especially if you're prone (as in my case) to autoimmune diseases. Stress is a HUGE trigger! It's been seven months since my diagnosis. My eyes are super swollen and protruded. Even though my numbers are moderate, I'm considering a thyroidectomy in the next few months and afterwards I'll probably need orbital decompression. This disease is a bummersad

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    • Posted

      I am so sorry to hear what you have had to go through and about your eye disease.  Have you seen an Ocular specialist about your eyes?  Before you consider an irreversible treatment like surgery, have you given any thought to trying to bring down your antibodies with the addition of supplements to your medical treatment?
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    • Posted

      I've been taking megadoses of supplements (l'carnitine, vitamin D, Omegas, Selenium, you name it). I've cut down on gluten. I exercise and my numbers have remained the same. If I didn't have the eye issues, I would not consider surgery.

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    • Posted

      This disease may seem like a bummer Lisandra ... but compared to my family members who've had the op ... and are now trying to live with having NO THYROID ... it's a walk in the park for some of us ... it's not what you'd choose for yourself granted , but I see every week how ill my sisters and cousins are now ... and I thank people on here who gave me great advice for introducing me to ' self healing ' it's not Mumbo Jumbo ...it's real replacement of vital minerals and vitamins that us Graves' disease patients are lacking because our bodies are ' going at top speed '

      And are using up all these vital and very necessary things ..

      Please take some time to read and educate yourself on the subject before you go for the op ... believe me .. it CAN be done .. i and many others have done it and many are in the middle of doing it !

      Take care

      Luv mx🌹

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    • Posted

      I am sorry for what you are going through Lisandra... please read around thou because I know at least 2 people that had they thyroid taken off but their eyes are still as bulging as before, so their problem was not sorted by removing the thyroid, only they have another problem on top of their bulging eyes...

      It's a "no way back" situation so think carefully before you do it. Good luck 😀

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    • Posted

      Hi Lisandra, I feel for you as my stress was also not just one thing but a whole heap of things. From what I have read it would appear that each sufferer has their own level of sensitivity to thyroxine so a small rise in some has a huge impact and others not so much. Have they given you any steroids for your eyes? I didn't realise that it didn't reverse with treatment. While my eyesight has declined a bit I don't have obvious orbital problems. I really hope you get some relief soon.

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